CHARTERING AND CHAKTER-PARTIES 4! market, it being the tendency for rates to be high during busy periods, when tonnage is scarce, and low hi slack times when idle ships are plentiful. The arrangement of a charter-party is known as "fixing" a charter, and when completed the vessel is termed "fixed." Brokers on the Baltic Exchange operate in a similar manner to those of the Stock Exchange. Brokers are constantly in touch with the world's markets through the medium of the Baltic Exchange and can keep their principals—perhaps shipowners, perhaps merchants— advised of the daily trend of the markets and whether con- ditions tend towards rises or falls in rates, which fluctua- tions operate on the law of supply and demand as seen from the last paragraph. Market Reports are given in various shipping papers and a broker or owner who wishes to know the approximate state of a market with which he is not conversant can get a helpful lead from the fixtures reported. For instance the following may be reported— n.a. San Lorenzo s.s. Baltic 7500 10% picked U.K. 152/6 Antwerp Rotterdam 2s. 6d. less option Bergen/Aarhus range 53. one 73. 6d. two 15/28 February. The explanation of this is that— The s.s. Baltic has been chartered from the River Plate to load a full cargo of grain 7,500 tons, 10 per cent more or less at owners' option. Vessel is to be loaded at a port or ports not above San Lorenzo and is to discharge at one or more of a range of named ports in the United Kingdom for -which the owner will receive 1525. 6d. per ton. If charterers wish, they may order the steamer to Antwerp, in which case the rate will be 25. 6d. less per ton, or to Rotterdam at 2S. 6d. less per ton. In the fixture cited, charterers have the further option of ordering the vessel to discharge at one or two ports between Bergen and Aarhus instead of U.K. or Con- tinent and, if this option is exercised, the rate of freight which the owner will receive will be 1573. 6d. one port of discharge, 1505. two ports of discharge. Vessel must be ready to load between the I5th and 28th of February, both days inclusive. A further fixture which may be reported is as follows— Benisaf s.s. Seafarer 5/5200 Workingtoa 10/25 December 49/9. The broker seeing this will know that— The Seafarer has been fixed to load a fall cargo of iron ore from Benisaf for Workington at a rate of 495. gd. per ton. She must present herself at loading port between the roth and the 25th : December.